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Topic-icon Bipolar discussion

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1 year 5 days ago #539467 by max2

We have a man who started to subbie for Hubby earlier last year. At the time he was in a difficult personal relationship and in and out of a bit of trouble, which reflected in his work attendance becoming unreliable. His former employer gave him the flick for that reason.
On being given a warning from Hubby he admitted he was bipolar and that his Doctor had recently changed his medication. He advised he was going back to his former meds and had started to feel better.

Fast forward to this year and he is still unreliable with several interesting and original reasons (been arrested a couple of times, was a police informer in hiding, dead grandparent, motorbike accident, broken phone, lost phones, community service, minding his child and step son whilst mother disappears to family working weekdays at a time etc) as to why he doesn't turn up for work.

We suspect he is receiving unemployment or job start funding and thus makes himself available for part of each week, with promises of turning up the following one. He has admitted he is not on his medication anymore.

We don't know anything about bipolar dis order so I thought I would ask the forum of your knowledge and experiences. Where to draw the line between someone who isn't 100% and someone taking the mickey. What does being bipolar do to someone? thank you

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1 year 5 days ago #539468 by jeannielea

Others here will know more than I do but I understand the medication is a problem with many people with BP. They become confident that they don/t need it so top taking it and of course this leads to the irrational behaviour. So this does make employment etc difficult but have no clues as what is helpful.

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1 year 5 days ago #539469 by kate28

I had a friend who had bipolar & she was quite reliable at turning up to work & seemed to do a good job. She went through several jobs but it seemed like she was more unsure what she wanted to do or where to settle. She had good grades when studying. When it came to relationships that was an entirely different story. She was very very harsh on her partner and anytime we all got together in a group setting (bbq/drinks etc) it would always go the same. Would be all happy, an enjoyable evening then next minute she would snap over something very small, cause a huge scene & evening turned to custard. If it were at their house we would all get kicked out. If it were elsewhere she would leave & make the partner leave too. Almost every occasion she would shout at him & accuse him of all sorts of things in front of his friends. One minute they were getting married, next minute it was all off (several times). She was also quite unsettled with where she would live. They decided to buy a house together, they set it all up, got several pets, were getting married then she decided she was going overseas & left, she then came back & briefly settled again, then decided she was going overseas again & doing long distance. Couple weeks later ended the relationship. We went on holiday together as a group once & that was awful, it was very much centered around my friend & anytime anyone else suggested an activity she would cause a scene. Our friendship broke down because she was very self centered & it could be quite one sided, I always just accepted that & took it on the chin. Then when I really needed someone she couldnt care less.She then moved away & lost contact

I would like to think I am someone who is very open minded and accepting of all people but I found it quite draining to deal with & watch our friend (her partner) trying to cope but being continually verbally & emotionally abused. I guess it affected my friend in the area of relationships but maybe your worker is really effected in his employment.

Last Edit: 1 year 5 days ago by kate28.
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1 year 5 days ago #539473 by iSor

You don’t have to be bi-polar to act like this. If this guy is in and out of trouble, unreliable and having personal problems, could he be also taking non prescribed drugs on top of saying he’s bipolar (with or without meds for that) to try and cope perhaps? You might need to know for work safety if you’re his employer but I’m not sure how you would deal with ruling that out, how you would get him to do a drug test I mean, as neither of you need this extra complication for him to do his job properly. It’s difficult to understand somebody when they won’t tell you the truth and constantly lie even if they are bi-polar.

Last year we had a subbie (plasterer) contracted by our builder to build a fireproof hearth around the fireplace, in fact three different ones came to do the same job because it was a bit crooked, anyway the dude came Saturday morning and his eyes were weirdly bloodshot and OH thought he looked like he was on drugs because he didn’t act hung over as such from a hard night of drinking. He was a nice enough guy trying to bring up his young daughter who was horse-mad, but the eyes looked strange to say the least.

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1 year 5 days ago #539474 by iSor

You don’t have to be bi-polar to act like this. If this guy is in and out of trouble, unreliable and having personal problems, could he be also taking non prescribed drugs on top of saying he’s bipolar (with or without meds for that) to try and cope perhaps? You might need to know for work safety if you’re his employer but I’m not sure how you would deal with ruling that out, how you would get him to do a drug test I mean, as neither of you need this extra complication for him to do his job properly. It’s difficult to understand somebody when they won’t tell you the truth and constantly lie whether they are bi-polar or not.

Last year we had a subbie (plasterer) contracted by our builder to build a fireproof hearth around the fireplace, in fact three different ones came to do the same job because it was a bit crooked, anyway the dude came Saturday morning and his eyes were weirdly bloodshot and OH thought he looked like he was on drugs because he didn’t act hung over as such from a hard night of drinking. He was a nice enough guy trying to bring up his young daughter who was horse-mad, but the eyes looked strange to say the least.

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1 year 5 days ago #539475 by max2

Thank you for the thoughts and experiences. Just a bit more to the story and that earlier this year he disappeared for several weeks. Prior to ''going'' he expressed to both of us he had been threatened by the x's family so I reported him missing after 3 weeks (that might seem a bit long but he had already taken off on week long stints before).

Once you get past the front counter staff, the police were pretty good however we heard back from him before the police had. We knew that they had visited his ex and left voice mail messages on all the numbers we had for him and I believe visited his mum.

When he contacted us, he said the police told him I had listed him as missing. When I called the officer who I reported him missing to, the officer had not heard from him (police private mobile number left) and nothing was on file. It was at this point he was supposed to have been an informant and in hiding. The officer could see no record of this being the case, however admitted front line staff are not always in the loop with other depts going ons.

From this I tried to establish with the Officer what was true in the stories we had been told (armed robbery when he was younger was another one) but this is when the privacy laws prevent (decent) people trying to sort the rubbish from the truth. I have considered P usage (something else he has admitted in the past to doing - when he was younger) and I know his family is in the circle of supply and use. All the Officer would say to me was he thought #@#@#@ would do us no harm.....

He has been gone again for almost a week although the OH managed to get him on the mobile yesterday (another promise to turn up for work)., When asked ''what happened'' his reply was long story, I will tell you when I see you tomorrow.

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1 year 5 days ago #539476 by ZummersetGirl

People with bipolar (previously known as manic depression) can function “normally” and live a happy and successful life. As with any illness - physical or mental- there is a range of severity and people cope differently to the same stressors. As previously mentioned some people go off their meds because it can dampen down emotional feelings and they would rather be up/down than not feeling anything. Some patients self-medicate rather than be on prescribed meds - cannabis, alcohol, other illegal drugs can be used to cope. Work history can be patchy and this can exacerbate symptoms -becoming a vicious circle of work and unemployment leading to pressure from WInZ to work and not coping with work and then being unemployed again. Some people use bipolar as an excuse for everything that has gone wrong in their life rather than trying to live in harmony with the disease. However, if you want to sack him you will have to go thru the normal processes but just be extra careful to get the process right because the bipolar could be blamed for the irregular work attendance and you’ll have to show that you tried to accommodate his condition. I can understand why employers are reluctant to employ people who own up to having bipolar.

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1 year 4 days ago #539494 by VioletFarmer

I have a cousin & had a friend (have since lost touch- not due to the bi polar though) that have bipolar disorder, and my partners cousin has schizophrenia. They all have managed to have good lives while taking there medication & with fantastic family support, manage their illnesses pretty well. My cousin had 2 episodes where she went off the meds & she ended up in the Henry Bennett Clinic at Waikato Hosp for 6 weeks each time. The friend had a really bad episode over 10 years ago where he went off meds & went walk about while over seas on holiday- they tracked him down a month later- he has been fine since. And my partners cousin has a few 'away with the fairies' moments, but he works hard & is a lovely person. My only advice to you would be, request his criminal records, the Citizens Advice Bureau will advise you how- or ask the employee to get you a copy himself. (I had to provide a Police check document when I volunteered at a Playcenter years ago). Otherwise sit him down for a serious chat- "we need you to be at work regularly because X, Y, Z." "Unfortunately we will have to start giving you written warnings from now on, because X, Y, Z." Having not met your employee, you may be dealing with a drug addict/ alcoholic, compulsive liar, lazy bones, benefit bludger, or genuine bipolar sufferer. A simple google of his name should bring up any news articles if he has been convicted of anything on the public record. I hope things can be worked out in a positive fashion for you, good luck.

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1 year 3 days ago #539514 by max2

Many thanks all. Still no physical sign of him and not returning calls. Mobile turned off or goes to message bank, yet he carries it religiously when at work.

I undertook a bit of on line snooping which involved the use of an non active FB account. Found him straight away, no security settings yet his FB page cannot be seen by either myself or my daughter under our profiles. Suggests he has blocked us.

He appears to be living again with his former partner and has added a couple profile picture from early March. he was supposed to be dating someone else according to him at that time.....

Photos of belongings that he told us their former landlord had stored/sold mid last year, are on his page late last year set out as in a garage sale type outdoor layout.
Yet he went missing from work earlier this year supposedly to recover some of these items from the Landlord.

He is wearing ''american gang'' street type outfits which appear new and which his counselor told him to ditch (so he told us anyhow) and doing the finger poses at the camera so I think he has returned to the life he had.

His former partner doesn't like him working and I suspect what he has earned from us (as he never put in a full week) has been below the allowable amount when on job search.

I would suggest we have been played. :(

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1 year 3 days ago #539518 by Stikkibeek

You need to issue him a formal letter advising him to return to work, or he will forfeit his employment If I remember rightly you need to give him a time limit to respond, but it would pay you to check with a duty solicitor at CAB. You need to safeguard yourself from possible employment tribunal stuff should he choose to dispute his pending termination of employment.


Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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1 year 3 days ago #539523 by max2

Thank you all for the thoughts. He came to us as a subbie as at the time he was working between us and another local contractor who now I suspect had him on a cash payment deal with the clients. I have sent a variety of emails as well as a formal notice about 3 weeks ago. Not sure what else I can do to cover our butts. And of course I have the police contact when he went ''missing'' if push comes to shove.

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1 year 1 day ago #539545 by sandgrubber

My father was bipolar. He was a brilliant physician... double specialist (cardiovascular and psychoanalytic), head of class in top US universities. Meds worked to control his moods, but he refused to take them because he liked the highs enough to make up for the lows. He married and divorced three times, then had a few live in girlfriends. Spent his last couple decades living in a little cabin in the woods, taking pot in exchange for medical services.
In some ways he was amusing, and his medical advice was great... science based with due skepticism. But he had no respect for rules, contempt for authotities, little interest in money or status, and insistence on doing his own thing. He was also very into smoking weed.
My guess, based on my experience with the condition, is you probably won't get control... but you shouldn't be worried about legal repurcussions. The guy is likely driven by what is going on in his brain, and not real worried about his employment.
But no guarantees... I'm extrapolating from a sample of one.
Based on how my father related, you might find it useful to ask the guy if he gives a sh#t about your job, or if he'd be good with just forgetting it.

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1 year 1 day ago #539547 by max2

My other half says Sandgrubber that he has gone, that we won't be hearing from him again. He certainly hasn't replied to my emails (where he sends his invoices to) nor has replied to Hubby's messages. Owes us money from various things Hubby pulled him out of...

I'm mindful its midway through nz school holidays and from my spying with my other profile on FB, it appears the other half has a job so I am wondering if he has been left minding the kids not all his and hasn't spoken up... no trace of the recent partner on his page, If she existed at all.

Too many variables and excuses though. Nice photos of brand new ''gang'' outfits on his page while we were decking him out with work attire which continually needed replacing due to x burning them etc.

Does my head in.....

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11 months 4 weeks ago #539608 by North50

Hi Max2. I am not convinced that bipolar is the core or only issue here, and I'm speaking from first hand experience. I think you're being played, so I believe you would be better to make sure you take all the correct steps to cover yourself and cut your ties with him.

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11 months 4 weeks ago #539611 by max2

Many thanks North50, we agree.

We have installed gates out the front and I will start up my cameras again.

Just very disappointed in many aspects. He was a very good worker, when he was there.

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